Geographic and Governmental Profile of Azerbaijan

Background
Azerbaijan - a nation with a majority-Turkic and majority-shia Muslim population - was briefly independent (from 1918 to 1920) following the collapse of the Russian Empire; it was subsequently incorporated into the Soviet Union for seven decades. Despite a 1994 cease-fire, Azerbaijan has yet to resolve its conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, a primarily Armenian-populated region that Moscow recognized as part of Soviet Azerbaijan in the 1920s after Armenia and Azerbaijan disputed the status of the territory. Armenia and Azerbaijan began fighting over the area in 1988; the struggle escalated after both countries attained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. By May 1994, when a cease-fire took hold, ethnic Armenian forces held not only Nagorno-Karabakh but also seven surrounding provinces in the territory of Azerbaijan. Corruption in the country is ubiquitous, and the government, which eliminated presidential term limits in a 2009 referendum, has been accused of authoritarianism. Although the poverty rate has been reduced in recent years due to revenue from oil production, the promise of widespread wealth resulting from the continued development of Azerbaijan's energy sector remains largely unfulfilled.
Location
Southwestern Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Russia, with a small European portion north of the Caucasus range
Geographic coordinates
40 30 N, 47 30 E
Continent / Subcontinent
Middle East
Area
total:
86,600 sq km
rank:
113
land:
82,629 sq km
water:
3,971 sq km
includes the exclave of Naxcivan Autonomous Republic and the Nagorno-Karabakh region; the region's autonomy was abolished by Azerbaijani Supreme Soviet on 26 November 1991
Area - comparative
slightly smaller than Maine
Land boundaries
total:
2,013 km
border countries:
Armenia (with Azerbaijan-proper) 566 km, Armenia (with Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave) 221 km, Georgia 322 km, Iran (with Azerbaijan-proper) 432 km, Iran (with Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave) 179 km, Russia 284 km, Turkey 9 km
Coastline
0 km (landlocked); note - Azerbaijan borders the Caspian Sea (713 km)
Maritime claims
none (landlocked)
Climate
dry, semiarid steppe
Terrain
large, flat Kur-Araz Ovaligi (Kura-Araks Lowland, much of it below sea level) with Great Caucasus Mountains to the north, Qarabag Yaylasi (Karabakh Upland) in west; Baku lies on Abseron Yasaqligi (Apsheron Peninsula) that juts into Caspian Sea
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Caspian Sea -28 m
highest point:
Bazarduzu Dagi 4,485 m
Natural resources
petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, nonferrous metals, bauxite
Land use
arable land:
20.62%
permanent crops:
2.61%
other:
76.77% (2005)
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Irrigated land
14,300 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
30.3 cu km (1997)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
17.25 cu km/yr (5%/28%/68%)
per capita:
2,051 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
droughts
Environment - current issues
local scientists consider the Abseron Yasaqligi (Apsheron Peninsula) (including Baku and Sumqayit) and the Caspian Sea to be the ecologically most devastated area in the world because of severe air, soil, and water pollution; soil pollution results from oil spills, from the use of DDT pesticide, and from toxic defoliants used in the production of cotton
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified:
none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
both the main area of the country and the Naxcivan exclave are landlocked
Country name
conventional long form:
Republic of Azerbaijan
conventional short form:
Azerbaijan
local long form:
Azarbaycan Respublikasi
local short form:
Azarbaycan
former:
Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic
Government type
republic
Capital
name:
Baku (Baki, Baky)
geographic coordinates:
40 23 N, 49 52 E
time difference:
UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time:
+1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions
66 rayons (rayonlar; rayon - singular), 11 cities (saharlar; sahar - singular);
rayons:
Abseron, Agcabadi, Agdam, Agdas, Agstafa, Agsu, Astara, Babak, Balakan, Barda, Beylaqan, Bilasuvar, Cabrayil, Calilabad, Culfa, Daskasan, Fuzuli, Gadabay, Goranboy, Goycay, Goygol, Haciqabul, Imisli, Ismayilli, Kalbacar, Kangarli, Kurdamir, Lacin, Lankaran, Lerik, Masalli, Neftcala, Oguz, Ordubad, Qabala, Qax, Qazax, Qobustan, Quba, Qubadli, Qusar, Saatli, Sabirabad, Sabran, Sadarak, Sahbuz, Saki, Salyan, Samaxi, Samkir, Samux, Sarur, Siyazan, Susa, Tartar, Tovuz, Ucar, Xacmaz, Xizi, Xocali, Xocavand, Yardimli, Yevlax, Zangilan, Zaqatala, Zardab
cities:
Baki, Ganca, Lankaran, Mingacevir, Naftalan, Naxcivan, Saki, Sirvan, Sumqayit, Xankandi, Yevlax
Independence
30 August 1991 (declared from the Soviet Union); 18 October 1991 (adopted by the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan)
National holiday
Founding of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan, 28 May (1918)
Constitution
adopted 12 November 1995; modified by referendum 24 August 2002
Legal system
civil law system
International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state:
President Ilham ALIYEV (since 31 October 2003)
head of government:
Prime Minister Artur RASIZADE (since 4 November 2003); First Deputy Prime Minister Yaqub EYYUBOV (since June 2006)
cabinet:
Council of Ministers appointed by the president and confirmed by the National Assembly
elections:
president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for unlimited terms); election last held on 15 October 2008 (next to be held in October 2013); prime minister and first deputy prime minister appointed by the president and confirmed by the National Assembly
election results:
Ilham ALIYEV reelected president; percent of vote - Ilham ALIYEV 89%, Igbal AGHAZADE 2.9%, five other candidates with smaller percentages
several political parties boycotted the election due to unfair conditions; OSCE observers concluded that the election did not meet international standards
Legislative branch
unicameral National Assembly or Milli Mejlis (125 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections:
last held on 7 November 2010 (next to be held in November 2015)
election results:
percent of vote by party - YAP 45.8%, CSP 1.6%, Motherland 1.4%, independents 48.2%, other 3.1%; seats by party - YAP 71, CSP 3, Motherland 2, Democratic Reforms 1, Great Creation 1, Hope Party 1, Social Welfare 1, Civil Unity 1, Whole Azerbaijan Popular Front 1, Justice 1, independents 42
Judicial branch
Constitutional Court the president proposes judges of all the courts to the Parliament which appoints them; Supreme Court; Economic Court
Political parties and leaders
Azerbaijan Democratic Party or ADP [Sardar JALALOGLU]; Civil Solidarity Party or CSP [Sabir RUSTAMKHANLI]; Civil Unity Party [Sabir HACIYEV]; Classic People's Front of Azerbaijan [Mirmahmud MIRALI-OGLU]; Democratic Reform Party [Asim MOLLAZADE]; Great Creation Party [Fazil Gazanfaroglu MUSTAFAYEV]; Hope (Umid) Party [Iqbal AGAZADE]; Justice Party [Ilyas ISMAYILOV]; Liberal Party of Azerbaijan [Lala Shovkat HACIYEVA]; Motherland Party [Fazail AGAMALI]; Musavat (Equality) [Isa GAMBAR, chairman]; Open Society Party [Rasul GULIYEV, in exile in the US]; Social Democratic Party of Azerbaijan or SDP [Araz ALIZADE and Ayaz MUTALIBOV (in exile)]; Social Welfare Party [Hussein KAZIMLI]; United Popular Azerbaijan Front Party or AXCP [Ali KARIMLI]; Whole Azerbaijan Popular Front Party [Gudrat HASANGULIYEV]; Yeni (New) Azerbaijan Party or YAP [President Ilham ALIYEV]
opposition parties regularly factionalize and form new parties
Political pressure groups and leaders
Azerbaijan Public Forum [Eldar NAMAZOV]; Karabakh Liberation Organization
International organization participation
ADB, BSEC, CE, CICA, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECO, FAO, GCTU, GUAM, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, SELEC (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Elin SULEYMANOV
chancery:
2741 34th Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone:
[1] (202) 337-3500
FAX:
[1] (202) 337-5911
Consulate(s) general:
Los Angeles
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Adam STERLING
embassy:
83 Azadlig Prospecti, Baku AZ1007
mailing address:
American Embassy Baku, US Department of State, 7050 Baku Place, Washington, DC 20521-7050
telephone:
[994] (12) 4980-335 through 337
FAX:
[994] (12) 4656-671
Flag description
three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), red, and green; a crescent and eight-pointed star in white are centered in the red band; the blue band recalls Azerbaijan's Turkic heritage, red stands for modernization and progress, and green refers to Islam; the crescent moon is an Islamic symbol, while the eight-pointed star represents the eight Turkic peoples of the world
National symbol(s)
flames of fire
National anthem
name:
"Azerbaijan Marsi" (March of Azerbaijan)
lyrics/music:
Ahmed JAVAD/Uzeyir HAJIBEYOV
adopted 1992; although originally written in 1919 during a brief period of independence, "Azerbaijan Marsi" did not become the official anthem until after the dissolution of the Soviet Union
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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